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Funny Fairy Tales by Ambrose Bierce

The Crimson Candle

A MAN lying at the point of death called his wife to his bedside
and said:

'I am about to leave you forever; give me, therefore, one last
proof of your affection and fidelity, for, according to our holy
religion, a married man seeking admittance at the gate of Heaven is
required to swear that he has never defiled himself with an
unworthy woman. In my desk you will find a crimson candle, which
has been blessed by the High Priest and has a peculiar mystical
significance. Swear to me that while it is in existence you will
not remarry.'

The Woman swore and the Man died. At the funeral the Woman stood
at the head of the bier, holding a lighted crimson candle till it
was wasted entirely away.


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